For more than 45 years, Simon Fraser University has nurtured the talents of student-athletes who have gone on to achieve great things in either aspect of that role, producing Rhodes Scholars and Olympians alike. Since winning its first championship in 1972—swimming and diving in men's NAIA—the Clan has claimed victory in more than 50 National NAIA or CIS championships in such sports as skiing, women's basketball, and women's wrestling. Each year, rather than honouring its athletes as in other schools' age-old traditions—sending them off on an ice floe to fight the Soviets—SFU bestows an outstanding male and female each with a highland sgian dubh, a traditional Gaelic weapon that symbolizes courage, respect, and loyalty.
Recently appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman, master acrobat Li Liu sends audiences of all ages reeling with a sense of wonder and joyful dizziness with aerial feats that have garnered her numerous awards, including the gold medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque in Paris. On Sunday, October 16, fans of artful physical domination over natural laws can witness Li Liu's balancing prowess, proclivity for twirling rings, and penchant for shaming flying squirrels during an acrobatic dance. After starting as a somersaulting tot at the age of 7, Li Liu spent eight hours a day for nine years honing her craft at the Chinese National School in Beijing. Since completing her rough and tumble education, she has toured extensively with groups such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Guests witness the equilibrium-defying acrobatics at the Centennial Theatre, which has housed all forms of imaginative entertainment, from travelling troubadours and unicorn orchestras to comedic romps and children's theatre, since opening its doors in 1966.
Hockey Performance Centre develops the next generation of hockey stars using advanced training methods and decades of experience from former NHL players and veteran coaches. The facility relies primarily on the Benicky System, a training approach concocted by Dusan Benicky that zeroes in on individual skills and fundamentals. Having worked with dozens of the best NHL and international players, Benicky perfected his program by applying it within two environments: the gym and the skatemill. Players learn how to skate with power and shoot while in full stride.
Canadian Comedy Award-winning funnyman Gerry Dee, known to some as “Gerry Dee – Sports Reporter” on The Score and the star of the upcoming CBC sitcom Mr. D, channels his years as a father, collegiate hockey player, and physical educator into a night of poignant laughs on his “Life After Teaching” tour. Gerry’s gift of gab and guffaw-extracting demeanor has eclipsed his sports career, making him one of the most sought-after comedians in both Canada and its trouser landmass called America. The first Canadian in 27 years to win the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, where Robin Williams and Dana Carvey once battled to the death, Gerry garners empathetic laughs with his intrinsic charisma and sharp observational humour about the foibles of marriage and the unbearable lightness of offspring.
Now that it has been fully restored, the Rio Theatre immediately recalls the splendour of its grand opening in 1938. Hiding behind the old-fashioned aesthetics, however, are a digital HD projector and surround-sound speakers that immerse filmgoers in an eclectic array of first-run blockbusters and cinema classics. Showing films again as of April 2012, the theatre’s movie selection ranges from sci-fi and horror to wholesome family films, though the program coalesces around a love for pop culture that the owners share with their most ardent fans.
Aside from the daily show times, cult classics—frequently in their original 35 mm form—screen at midnight on Fridays. Guests from all walks of life come out to these packed showings, where they can snack on popcorn made with real butter or win prizes for dressing in costume as their favourite character or key grip. The 420-seat theatre also hosts concerts and events throughout the year, including past performances by Janeane Garofalo and local musicians Bend Sinister.
On September 9, 1979, more than 100,000 Whitecaps fans lined Robson Street to salute their hometown club. That day, the Whitecaps returned home after becoming Vancouver's first professional sports team to win a major North American championship: they had just defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies to claim the North American Soccer League title.
Since that first one, the franchise has won six additional titles–including four in a row from 1988–1991 while playing as the 86ers in the Canadian Soccer League. In fact, the club competed under that 86ers moniker until 2000. That year, spurred by public support and an unexplainable 'Caps logo beamed into the night sky, it re-emerged under its original Whitecaps identity. Today, the 21st-century incarnation of the club continues to battle for its first championship as part of Major League Soccer, where it began play in 2011.